How do you survive through toxic leadership? How do you keep going?
I’ve written previously about signs of toxic leadership. It is a miserable way to live.
But there are some things I have learned, which might help you if you find yourself in a toxic environment or with a toxic leader.
Here are 4 suggestions to survive toxic leadership:
Learn all you can. We learn in every context and season of life. Sometimes we are simply learning what not to do if we are in a leadership situation. Take notes. Observe. Ask yourself continually questions such as “How would I do this differently?” “How could this process have been improved?”
Be an advocate for others. Some people might have it worse than you do under toxic leadership. Don’t be afraid to speak up for the more vulnerable. You might be the only voice they have and you would likely want someone to do it for you. Standing for others will help you better stand.
Jump before you have to. Many times, even in toxic leadership environments, people can stay and be miserable. They keep their head down, follow all the rules, and almost literally walk on egg shells. But they learn to adapt enough to get by. All the while a part of them is dying inside.
Protect your heart. Make sure you don’t become a comfortable casualty. Once in one of these type environments my wife was the one who encouraged me to leave. She could see what it was doing to me – robbing my joy. I’ve always loved to be productive, but in toxic environments that can be taken from you. Protect yourself and don’t let that last for long. Sometimes leaving – even with now where to go – is a better risk than staying and losing part of yourself.
Those are a few suggestions. Have you been under toxic leadership? Share your story in the comments. What would you share?
Join the discussion 2 Comments
It's a very tough situation to be in. In my experiences, I have been known to justify the work environment by associating it with the means to provide for my family. But having friends and family give you that outside perspective can be eye opening to the things you are tolerating. I would also suggest that you continue to foster the relationships you have with the people that have left. Again, their perspective and experience can give you the courage to leave, or even find a new opportunity.
Good reply. Thanks.